PHILADELPHIA, July 24 (UPI) — The Democratic Rules Committee voted to limit the role of superdelegates, binding two-thirds of them to state primary and caucus results. It also wants to establish a “unity commission” to make recommendations on the reforms.
The remainder of superdelegates will be unpledged and can support their candidate of choice, the Washington Post reported.
The changes won’t affect the 2016 presidential election.
Rules for the unity commission, approved 158 to 6, require the commission of 21 members be appointed “no later than 60 days” after the general election. It will be chaired by Clinton supporter Jennifer O’Malley Dillon and the vice chair will be Bernie Sanders support Larry Cohen, former president of the Communications Workers of America.
The commission will bring its proposals back to the Democratic National Committee by Jan. 1, 2018, long before the 2020 primaries.
This is a major shift in the superdelegate system and must be formally approved by the DNC, The Hill reported.
The rule changes also consider voting reforms, especially in caucus states, where the DNC wants to increase voter participation and inclusion “through grassroots engagement of the party’s voter base.”
The commission is to make specific recommendations on how to allow for more participation in caucuses and make them “less burdensome and more inclusive, transparent and accessible,” which is expected to get more voters and new unaffiliated voters involved.
“I want people to understand that this commission is different from others that we’ve had in the past,” said Michaeleen Crowell, Sanders’ chief of staff. “It’s something that has real teeth in it because it prescribes the outcome for the most part that we are going to see real change in the superdelegates, basically reducing them by two-thirds.” He said many conversations between Sanders and Clinton supporters brought this about.
The reforms fell short of what Sanders wanted. While he wanted to bind superdelegates to state results – Sanders watched superdelegates jump on Clinton’s wagon even after he won states like Rhode Island and Oklahoma by comfortable numbers – senators and governors and others would still be able to vote for their candidate of choice. That is something Sanders blamed for the early impressions that he could not win.